Illinois Legalizes Same-Sex Civil Unions

Today in Illinois, both houses of the state legislature approved a bill granting civil unions to same-sex couples. Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill into law, as he said he would support the unions while campaigning.

The bill says that a civil union, expressly stated as between "two persons of either the same or opposite sex," entitles the parties of the union to the "same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections and benefits afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses." It also says that Illinois recognizes civil unions or similar unions entered into in other jurisdictions, and provides a mechanism for them to be dissolved.

In the Senate, the measure passed 32 to 24, and in the House, it passed 61 to 52.
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